Mushing by Mary Jones
Associate fiction editor Krys Malcolm Belc on today's bonus story: In “Mushing,” Mary Jones has created a narrator who is ready to visit the Alaska of dreams: an incredible place you can take someone new you want to impress, a place that will show you what you’ve read about in books, what you’ve imagined so many times when you’re living regular life. A place of adventure and wonder, a place waiting just for you.
The old man is a father for the first time. He’s making a plan. He wants to take his boy to Alaska this summer. He’s thinking about adventure. In Alaska you can go bear watching for one thing. Or else you can go on a dog-sled ride. There’s 1,100 miles of bush country in Alaska. He’d read about, once, years ago, in a book he used to love. Even in the summer, when it’s warm, you can do it. They’ll take you by helicopter to a glacier. A place where it’s snowy all year round―like Juneau or Skagway or Seward. A place where the seasons don’t change. And the mushers keep the dogs ready. The dogs are ready year round, for those who cannot wait.
Mary Jones's stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, Columbia Journal, Brevity, Carve, The Southampton Review, Pank, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing at UCLA Extension.